Roswila's Dream & Poetry Realm

SEE ALSO: TRYING TO HOLD A BOX OF LIGHT (photos, realistic to abstract)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Dream Mosaics: On Writing Haiku Based on Dreams

[The painting on the right is "Flaming June"
and is by Lord Frederic Leighton.]

Most of us tend to think of haiku as being set in nature and a great many are, as are many of my own. However, I also enjoy writing haiku in other settings, such as an urban or dream setting. Today I’m sharing a sampling of haiku I’ve written based on my dreams. ( In the future I’ll share some of my urban haiku.)

You may note I do not adhere strictly to the convention of three lines of 5/7/5 syllables or to using a word to indicate the season in which the haiku is set. For my reasoning, see my earlier post about a haiku-based form called "Scifaiku."

You may also notice the occasional use of a dash or colon at the end of a line. A colon indicates what follows results from or comes out of the line it ends and a dash indicates that a comparison or contrast is being made.

I find dream-based haiku to be the most challenging haiku to write and am least certain whether they ever really "work" at all. Then why do I try? I find that writing a haiku about a compelling dream can be a simpler way to honor the dream than my usual lengthy dream journaling approach. However, more importantly, I find that the distilling I have to put a dream through to house it in a haiku can be very enlightening with respect to the dream. Something essential can emerge in that process that is not necessarily apparent in the resultant haiku, but in my own relationship to the source dream.

I am still somewhat uncomfortable with my haiku based on dreams. I often feel that one or the other of the haiku form or the dream have been short-changed. Yet, I feel compelled to keep writing them, to become more adept at honoring both the form and the source dream.


lunar eclipse dream:
palm size dog
touches my heart

* * * *

crack in reality:
little devils
dance the conga

(Published; see "Resource" at end of post for credit.)

* * * *

a beach at twilight
solitary young people
dance in the shallows

* * * *

white flowered
dream tree
waking to spring rain

on my heart
the weight of that dream
summer solstice

(For some time I tried using a basic format of contrasting the dream to my waking from it. These two above are examples of that approach. Ultimately, I found it tended to short-change the dream.)

* * * *

assigned in a dream:
to sort through the thousands
of battlefield dead

(This is a years-old dream and haiku, and it has proven to be true in my inner work over the years.)

* * * *

grandma’s gift
roseate stone
in dream setting

* * * *

dream revelation
the new Pope resigns to take
the path with heart

(Based on a very recent dream, for which writing this haiku produced several insights.)

* * * *

flowering vines
climb the grey yard wall
dream prison break

the ricochetting
red bullet chases us
dream escape

(These two were dreamed on recent consecutive nights. Until I wrote the second haiku I had not even noticed the connection between the dreams in theme.)

* * * *

dream mosaic
loose stones still
tell a story

* * * *

May your own dream mosaics reveal rich and rewarding stories.

Resource: the "little devils" haiku above was published in "Inside Out: Haiku and Dreams," by Joseph Kirschner; Deep North Press, Evanston, IL; © 2003, ISBN 1-929116-10-1; this is a lovely book (inside and out, literally) about writing haiku based on dreams, with dream haiku by many different authors.

‘til next time, keep dreaming,


* * * *If you wish to copy or use any of my writing or poems, please email me for permission (under "View my complete profile") * * * * NEW POST(S): Using The Tarot With Dreams That Got Away; The Demise of Pegasus Dreaming, With A Scifaiku.
FUTURE POST(S):Using Your Dreams to Create Poetry & Stories (4 fun exercises)* * * *


At 11:25 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

your poems rock you actually helped me to see what it actually is to write a poem thank you so much. keep on doing what your doing girl!

At 12:53 AM , Blogger Roswila said...

Glad my post helped. It's great fun to share part of the process as well as the results. I'm still feeling like a kid in a candy store! Thanks for visiting.


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